How to Drive More Construction Business with Better Home Pages
We spend a lot of time researching, planning, designing, testing, improving, editing, and updating our clients’ construction website home pages. And why shouldn’t we? It is the “main event” and the “key entry point” for new visitors to your website – isn’t it?
At the risk of sounding like the internet geeks that we are, we have to ask: Have you ever taken a good look at your website analytics? We’ve been reviewing user data for hundreds of construction company websites for over 30 years. Call us obsessed about visitor/user data, but understanding what people do on websites is important to us and we can confidently say that user data is one of the most important measurement tools to track your business’s online success.
Through website analysis and tracking user data, we have discovered the evolving functionality of a “home page” and how the remaining website pages come into play.
What is the home page?
It is the page that you land on when you type in a URL – like https://brandconstructors.com or https://www.nike.com. This page is still very valuable and worth the time and effort to optimize it. Statistically, it will still get the most number of hits/visits to your website. But, the point of this article is to talk about and discern all of your other “Home Pages”. To that end – most construction websites we look into have at least five other main pages where we know the visitor is experiencing your website for the first time on that page.
We used to have to type in a specific URL to get to a website and would always see the homepage first – remember those days? Now we have search engines that can provide us links to the exact content we are looking for, bypassing the homepage entirely. Because of Search Engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube and blog sharing websites (like Medium https://medium.com/) – and even your social media feed – any page can be a home page. Bottom LINE = People are arriving at your website for the first time through ALL of your website pages, so it is important to treat every page like your home page.
Joshua Porter capitalizes on this concept of “multiple home pages” in his article Prioritizing Design Time: A Long Tail Approach. He assumes that at least half of your visitors come to your website for the first time through lower level articles other than the home page. He also says that while the home page often gets the most views, it is the other pages that have proven to be more valuable and contain the highest conversion rates.
This is especially important in development of construction company websites – you want the pages that display the actual services you offer to be top quality if that is the first place your visitor will land. We have even found that spending more time on the employment section pays dividends when you think of possible new employees as “prospects”. With a labor shortage going on, it essential to double-down on treating possible employees like a rich-targeted prospect.
We see a need to stop thinking about the Home Page as the only front door to a website. It’s like renovating the exterior of your house, paying no attention to the interior and someone enters in through your bathroom. Is your bathroom nice enough for visitors? We believe that web design must have equal efforts put into all website pages in order to optimize your website’s effectiveness; the doors are open on all sides for new visitors.
What does it take to make every page a home page? What should you do differently? We suggest you start with a healthy review of your website analytics to see where your visitors are coming from and how they landed on your website. Go to Google Analytics, Click on Behavior and the sub menu Behavior flow. By default the first column you will find the most popular landing pages.
You will gain insight on what service or product people are searching for when they come to your website, providing you with guidance on pages you should be capitalizing on. This can be a guideline on how you construct your multiple home pages and where to focus your energy.
We are helping our clients rethink the concept of placing so much importance on the home page as the end-all be-all of a site for visitor engagement. We recognize its function and importance as the showcase for your construction company and the navigation touchstone to the rest of your site. But be aware that very often, your visitors will enter your site through a back door having searched for a specific product or service. Our plan is to engage them and hold their attention no matter how or where they start.
How many home pages do you have?